Why you should get off your arse and vote
Because if you don’t you’re silencing yourself
Student elections might seem like a bullshit popularity contest but those elected hold a serious amount of influence in decision-making that affects your everyday Aberdeen life.
And they’re the people whose job it is to hold the uni to accountable for their stupid decisions.
But it’s difficult to see that in election season when your news feed becomes clogged with candidates and teams try to grab your attention (and your votes) with dogs, capes, sweets and big promises. They’re all telling you who to vote for but the majority don’t even know why they should bother.
Did you know that seven out of the 14 executive positions are full time and paid? They’re your sabbatical officers: Student President, President for Charities and Communities, President for Education and Employability, President for Environment and Ethics, President for Societies and Student Activities, President for Sport and President for Welfare and Equal Opportunities.
The job is essentially a graduate scheme and it’s you who chooses who gets hired. You can have a say in who will run your Freshers’ week 2015, your sports clubs and societies, and who will represent you throughout every level in the University, including University Court, one of the highest deciding bodies in the University.
Often the sabbs are the only group on university committees voicing your needs. Just have a think about that. Don’t you want to decide who represents you best? I ran last year and thank god Jenny beat me to the punch – I’d have been excommunicated for punching Ian Diamond in a meeting.
This year the Sabbatical Officers worked hard to help students affected by the accommodation crisis, have been in talks with architects to your £8million refurbishment of the union building, have run a leadership academy, campaigned for your safety, brought dogs on campus, have run women in leadership workshops, held a bungee jump for charity, won 24 hour library times during exams, supported students in setting up a vegetarian and vegan café, to name a few.
AUSA’s problem is they’re not great at communicating what they’re doing – but that doesn’t mean they’re doing fuck all. Sports clubs, societies, student activities, class reps and many more things wouldn’t exist without a working sabbatical team and students’ association which, by default, all Aberdeen Uni students are a part of.
And if you’re sick of the elections being a popularity contest get involved by reading the manifestos and cast your vote properly. AUSA’s reach diminishes every time it forms a clique of “hacks” – it needs input from standard students to stay focused, and the elections are where you come in.
If you agree with what people are promising to do, and want to see them happen, then vote for them. If you don’t, then vote to Re-Open Nominations.
Ignoring the elections renders yourself silent not only then but for the rest of the year. It might seem boring, it might seem completely irrelevant to you, but it’s not. These are the people representing you, so have some pride and celebrate the choice that others don’t have simply by voting.